NETHERLANDS – The Dutch Foundation of Corporate Governance Research for Pension Funds, or SCGOP, has changed its name and plans to widen its membership.

The newly named Eumedion will now be open to insurers and asset managers. There will also be a change of management from next month

During its annual meeting, yesterday, it was announced that asset managers F&C, Robeco and ING Investment Management have officially joined the eight-year-old organisation.

They join the 34 pension fund members. Together they represent €390bn of assets, which is 80% of the national pension assets.

The widening of its goals has been necessary because of the corporate governance scandals and the increasing importance of shareholder rights, based on the Tabaksblat code for corporate governance, director Jos van Niekerk stressed.

“The research task of Eumedion will be extended to acceptation and observance of corporate governance standards,” he said. However, the organisation will still allocate money for research by universities, secretary Rients Abma added.

Abma, the secretary of the Tabaksblat Commission, will become the new director of Eumedion as of November, when Van Niekerk will step down.

“We want to become a forum for all institutional investors for consultation with the Dutch government, the EU and international organisations, based on the Dutch point of view”, explained chairman Roderick Munsters of civil service fund ABP. “Influencing legislation will be part of it.”

According to Munsters, the observance of the Tabaksblat Code, which got a legal base last year, is ‘pretty high’. “The Netherlands has now the best score in continental Europe, after the USA, Canada and the UK.”

Munsters mentioned the remuneration structure and risk management as subjects for further improvement. The same goes for the process and the functioning of shareholders’ meetings. “We will switch our focus to tuning, coordination and facilitation,” he said.